Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mission Statement

As my first blog on Blogger I hope that I don't screw up too much since I'm not the best writer. First impressions are everything. I have been blogging for years on other sites but I've never really written anything worth writing except my daily accounts and personal feelings. Now my free time gravitates around my family, school, and all things God. I hope to trigger intelligent conversations about God although I do not consider myself a scholar by any means, just a voice.

Whatever the object of my interest has been my appetite has always been healthy. Lately (in the last 3+ years) my appetite has fallen upon Comparative Religious Studies, and because of the vastness of the subject I will be dining happily for years to come. The more permanent factor is the depth of the subject. Sure, studying J.R.R. Tolkien's elvish language, Sindarin, is a fascinating subject not only in the past and future etymological constructions but it falls far short in purpose and meaning compared to the complexity (and strangely, simplicity), devotion, and awe of Religion.

From the Bhakti Yoga practices of Hinduism, to the mystical practices of Sufism restoring within themselves their primodial fitra, there is something in comparing the social, moral, and spiritual teachings of the World's Religions that speaks to me. To know that when I turn 80 I would have but scratched the surface, to have understood the meaning of one letter of one name of God/El/Allah/Deus/Ishvara/Θεός/




829519475412398501 (this long string of numbers represents the true name of God in the movie PI).

But I do not wish to understand God by means of disection, like a lab student and his cow brain. I do wish to collect puzzle pieces and take a lifetime putting the puzzle together. I find that the act of putting together this puzzle more rewarding then the finished product. Because what else can you do with a finished puzzle then to glue it to cardboard, frame it, and hang it on your wall awaiting "Ooos and ahhs" from friends and family.

Does this mean that I will choose to become purely an observer watching and taking notes on my clipboard as ants walk up to their chuch/synagogue/mosque, pay their tithe, whisper their prayers, and return to their homes? Yes and no. I do have a personal view and interaction with God of my own that I wish to strengthen, and I hope to learn of others views and interactions with God in hopes of growing from those experiences. Why keep the knowledge of joy you find in your favorite movie to yourself when you can tell others why it stirs you? And also in hopes someone will reciprocate and inform you why The Fountain is such a beautiful and breathtaking film (trust me, it is).

What is it about Hinduism, with approximately 1 billion adherents, that makes it the third largest religion? What is it about Islam that makes it the fastest growing religion in Europe? What is it about the Latter-Day Saints that makes it the 4th largest denomination in the U.S.? (Their LDS missionaries are very interesting to talk with, if you haven't already.) In my studies I wish to know how and why others perceive the Creator, not for any selfish goal to "just know" or to be a know-it-all but to collect that little piece and add it to my God-sized puzzle. And in adding that piece I might appreciate and love my fellow man and God that much more.

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